POLICE anti-drug operatives were surprised on Friday, March 22, when instead of arresting the suspect in a drug bust, they were able to rescue a nine-year-old boy who was turned into a courier.
The operation happened in Villa Candida Subdivision, Bulua, Cagayan de Oro City.
Members of the Drug Enforcement Team of Police Station 1 launched the operation against the boy’s uncle, but they were surprised when the boy delivered the suspected “shabu” (methamphetamine hydrochloride) instead. This paper did not name the suspect due to his relation to the underage boy.
Arresting officer Police Officer 3 (PO3) Rex Tenio said that the boy’s parents were both detained for illegal drug charges.
“Iyang mama naa sa city jail while iyang papa convicted sa droga ug naa sa Davao Penal Colony. Busa nakipuyo ni siya sa iyang mga ayaan ug uyuan,” Tenio said.
(His mother is in the city jail, while his father was convicted of drugs who is now serving at the Davao Penal Colony. That is why he was able to live in his uncle and aunt)
Tenio said the boy’s family has long been monitored for involvement in illegal drug trade in the city.
Investigators said the boy was worried because he is about to graduate elementary. The boy also insists that it was his first time to deliver illegal drugs.
Tenio said the boy admitted he knew he was delivering “shabu” and that he has no choice because he was living with his uncle.
“Nabalaka ning bata kay ingon siya graduating daw siya. Aware daw siya nga droga iyang gihatod ug dili siya gusto pero wala daw siya choice kay diha man siya nagpuyo,” Tenio said.
(The boy was worried because he was a graduating student. He is aware that he was delivering drugs. Although he did not want to do so, but he said he has no choice because he lives there with his uncle)
“Sa among assessment, dili ni niya first time kay kabalo man siya motrabaho so posible dugay na ni siya ginagamit sa iyang uyuan kay kabalo man siya nga walay criminal liability ang bata,” he added.
(In our assessment, we believe that this is not the first the boy did this because he knows how to work with it, so it is possible that he have been delivering for a long time, being used by his uncle knowing that children have no criminal liability)
However, authorities will still implicate the boy’s uncle in the case as they will still press drug charges against him. However, Tenio said they could no longer locate him.
“Wala na ni siya sa CDO ug dili mi sigurado kung diha ba gyud siya ga stay kay through tawag man ang transaction unya kining bata iyang gagamiton,” he said.
(He is no longer in Cagayan de Oro, and we are not sure if he was really staying there because the transactions were done through calls, with the boy he is using)
Police turned-over the boy to the Tahanan ng Kabataan in Barangay Lumbia.
Superintendent Mardy Hortillosa II, spokesperson of the Cagayan de Oro City Police (Cocpo), said this is the modus operandi of illegal drug players because they are aware that minors do not have criminal responsibility.
“Tungod kay walay balaod nga gasilot sa minor maong gisakyan ni sa mga criminal mao nga dapat gyud bantayan sa mga ginikanan ang ilang mga anak nga dili magamit sa mga kriminal,” Hortillosa said.
(Because there is no law that punishes a minor, that is why criminals took advantage of this. That is why parents should look after their children so that they will not be used by the criminals)
Hortillosa also said parents who either used their children in illegal activities or allow their children to be used and exploited by criminals must be put behind bars.
“Sa mga grupo nga ga-advocate sa katungod sa mga bata hinaot nga motabang sila mapalapad ang information dissemination sa paglikay sa mga bata nga magamit sa krimen,” he added.
(To the groups who advocate for the rights of the children, hopefully they would help in doing information dissemination on how the public can avoid children used being used in criminal activities)